The WPRA focuses its efforts on those areas of greatest concern to our members, our neighborhoods and our city. In some issues we take a leadership position, while in others we work with other interested groups.

General Plan Update

City Council Meeting on Land Use and Mobility Elements on April 8, 2013 -- Decision deferred

On Monday, April 8, the Pasadena City Council was asked by its Planning staff to approve changes to the General Plan Land Use and Mobility elements. Those changes could have serious long-range implications on residential and commercial development in the City, especially in historic areas such as West Pasadena.

The WPRA strongly encourages you to attend this meeting and speak on behalf of the recommendations made by the City's Planning Commission. The public portion of the meeting, which will be conducted in Council Chambers in City Hall, begins at 6:30 pm.  
The Planning Commission has recommended to City Council that:

  • Development "caps" should be upheld. City staff is recommending a change to the General Plan to make it easier for City Council to raise or lower caps without having to go through a comprehensive General Plan update. "Caps" set new-growth limits in specific areas and are based on the number of residential units and square footage for commercial construction. This recommendation dilutes the intent and effectiveness of having caps at all.
  • General Plan Guiding Principle #2 should be adopted as recommended by the Planning Commission, and not the alternative versions suggested. This version will ensure that new construction adjacent or in proximity to historic resources and in historic neighborhoods adheres to the Secretary of the Interior's standards.
  • Support City staff's recommendation to repeal the West Gateway Specific plan. City staff also supports this recommendation now that most of the sites the plan oversees have been developed or entitlements approved.

These are just a few of the critical General Plan guiding principles and provisions that will be discussed on Monday night. The decisions City Council makes on Monday night (and beyond) will go far to determining the character of our City now and in the future.

If you, like the WPRA, believe in preserving our Pasadena's heritage and our quality of life, we most strongly encourage you to review  City staff's recommendations, attend the City Council  meeting, and, if you feel as passionately as does the WPRA, speak out on behalf of a General Plan that reflects a city of moderation and sound growth practices.


The City of Pasadena is updating its General Plan and soliciting citizen comments in a variety of ways. Why should you care about the General Plan? Because it provides the outline and guidelines for future development.  It is a key part of facing Pasadena’s most challenging issues: residential density, the need for safe bike lanes, walkability of the city, architectural design, and more.

The City is working hard to reach out to all citizens to find out what kind of city they want. This outreach is just one part of the process in updating the state-mandated General Plan, which is the blueprint for our city’s planning and development. It is vital that this document reflects citizen’s desires and needs. Other groups are speaking out, and it is important that all of us have our say, as well!

The City has established a very comprehensive outreach program which includes the following elements:

  • MoveAbout Tours in September and October
  • Five Community Workshops in the second half of September
  • Council District Workshops for each council district in October (our District 6 is October 13th)
  • Community-wide open house on November 14

WPRA members express three main areas of concern about Pasadena city planning:

  • Density
  • Design 
  • Traffic

Other individuals and groups are speaking out with different perspectives:

  • People in favor of growth say dense traffic is a side effect and should not be a constraint.
  • People in favor of modern design say preserving old streets and buildings is archaic.
  • People in favor of denser residential areas say we need to do our part to provide affordable housing through subsidies from market-rate housing developments

What you can do

WPRA urges its members to participate in General Plan update workshops and other activities.  Individual workshop dates and subjects are published by the City and in WPRA weekly Neighborhood Update email.